Luis Morais Feb 10, 1935 - Sep 25, 2002

From a family of musicians, Luis Morais was born on the island of São Vicente, Cabo Verde but grew up in Dakar, Senegal, where he was trained in music theory and composition. He started playing in Dakar nightclubs in the '50s as a tenor & alto saxophonist, flautist and clarinet player, playing in a variety of musical styles including mambo, merengue, son, boleros and cha cha, as well as Cape Verdean folk music (such as coladera & mornas.). As such, he is considered a leader of the Cape Verdean folk music scene in Senegal.

After relocating to The Netherlands in '65, he formed La Voz de Cabo Verde, who would become one of the world's best known Cape Verdean bands, with a repertoire that included not only styles of Cabo Verde, but also cumbia, salsa, merengue, samba, bossa and pop tunes by the Beatles, played with electric instruments. The group was based first in Rotterdam, and then in Lisbon, playing, recording and touring through the '60s and '70s, even after a change in sound and personnel. The group collaborated with artists such as Abel Lima and Bana (who was a full-time member at one point in the '70s). After La Voz dissolved, Morais would often work with Cesaria Evora until his death on-stage in Massachusetts in 2002. He was also an educator in school music departments.

Check out "Linda Melodia", from his 1967 album Boas Festas (since reissued on Lusafrica):

From Voz de Cabo Verde's Nova Coladera:

And he often worked on the albums of Dionisio Maio. Check out his lovely sing-songy clarinet here:

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